MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Whew! Talk about your collective sighs of relief from Memphis Grizzlies fans. It’s now reported starting center Jonas Valanciunas is OK to play.
He had been ruled out indefinitely due to health and safety protocols for the coronavirus. JV was pulled from the Grizzlies last game Friday against the Nets just before the first half ended.
The NBA and the Grizz announced they move out of an abundance of caution, while saying Valanciunas did not test positive for the virus.
The seven-foot Lithuanian now won’t miss any time with the team, which left today to start a three-game road trip. Valanciunas tweeting everyone in his circle is healthy and no one close to him has tested positive.
Players are tested twice a day for COVID-19 with a PCR saliva test that returns results in 12-16 hours. PLUS, they get a rapid test that returns results within 30-40 minutes. Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said he’s got to keep his team prepared no matter who’s in or out.
“You’ve got to adapt and you’ve got to remain positive through it,” said Jenkins. “That’s something that we talked to the team at the beginning of the year – how unique of this season it’s going to be. You’ve got to just be positive, you’ve got to adapt, you’ve got to comply and you’ve got to be together. That’s our PACT, P.A.C.T.”
Valanciunas had his streak of eight straight double-doubles snapped after being pulled early in the Nets game. He’s averaging 14.2 points and 10.6 rebounds so far. The Grizzlies play at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.